Pakistan vs Tehreek e Taliban, Dr Hamid Hussain’s view

From Dr Hamid Hussain. As usual, he has some interesting tidbits about who did what, even if you disagree with his analysis. I am also attaching a later exchange between Dr Hussain and a British analyst.

Questions from a senior Pakistani army officer and my response to them. First segment carries his views and the second segment mine.
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Dear Hamid, AOA.

Thank you for sharing your usual rational and pragmatic analysis.

The reasons put forward by former intelligence officer about rapprochement with TTP are both concocted and devoid of logic. In the past also there have been many abortive deals with TTP, which have never worked.

TTA (Afghan Taliban) & TTP (Pakistani Taliban) have always collaborated with each other, at least, in sharing intelligence . Both are Deobandis and have elements in each, which have come from the other. The public opinion in Pakistan resents this deal because of the loss of thousands of lives and APS (Public School), Peshawar tragedy. There is definite proof of RAW & Afghan intelligence masterminding most incidents in Pakistan (for sure Kamra & Mehran bases). Pakistan has even presented these evidence dossiers to UN Secy Gen. What moral justification or credibility we have then to strike a deal with a terrorist organisation both from international and domestic perspectives?

Even if there is a deal, what stops TTP or even Taliban to launch a terrorist attack inside Pakistan and blame it on a splinter group of TTP? The critical question is of funding . TTP were foreign funded for the acts at the behest of sponsors. If they are unable to undertake these terrorist acts, how would they be sustained, recruited and pay to the members?

If you link the TTP deal with TLP (Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan), for a temporary truce we have lost the war.

Best Regards, Army Officer

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24 December 2021

Thanks, Sir, for your insight.  Sorry for the delayed response as I am busy with many chores and some hectic travels.

TTA & TTP:  You have highlighted the ideological, infrastructure, recruitment and financial relationships between two entities.  The problem for the Pakistan army was perception management for both domestic & foreign audiences.  It was supporting TTA but fighting TTP, therefore, it tried to convince the Pakistani public that the two entities were different although privately there were concerns about symbiotic relationship between the two. Hope was that with TTA having a major say in running Afghanistan (no one expected that Taliban will walk over after making a deal with US) will be able to rein in TTP.  My view was that it was a wrong assumption and lack of grasp of recent Afghan history despite deep involvement. Continue reading Pakistan vs Tehreek e Taliban, Dr Hamid Hussain’s view

Afghan Conundrum II

From Dr Hamid Hussain. As usual, he gives sensible advice, but it is not going to be heeded. On this issue, I think Major Amin is right, there will be a civil war, Pakistan will take sides, PTM will not be reconciled and will instead be further demonized, things will not get better.
I also hope I am wrong. (Omar Ali)

Dr Hamid Hussain’s post follows:

One can only highlight signposts of a complex issue. Following is one such exercise.

Hamid

Pakistan’s Afghan Conundrum

Hamid Hussain

“On earth, it’s hard and heaven is far away”.  Afghan proverb.

 Afghanistan is going through another transition with many uncertainties causing hope and fear.  Pakistan has a long history of involvement in Afghan affairs.  President Donald Trump tweeted on 08 October 2020 that all American troops will be home from Afghanistan by Christmas. This surprised everyone in Washington and Pentagon, State Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials were scratching their heads and contemplating how one single tweet has undermined the bargaining position of United States.  This also sent shock waves in General Head Quarters (GHQ) of Pakistan army.  Prime Minister Imran Khan government is not even pretending to have any role in Afghan affairs and has handed the Afghan file to the army.  Imran Khan wrote an op-ed piece for Washington Post pleading Americans not to leave Afghanistan in haste for Pakistan fears it will face all the negative fallout. 

There will be review of Afghan policy with the arrival of new administration in Washington in January 2021. However, domestic issues will suck all the oxygen and it is not likely that new administration will be able to spend significant economic, military and political capital on a side show in Afghanistan. President Trump is now the wild card before President elect Joe Biden takes oath on 20 January 2021.  He can order complete withdrawal of American troops by the end of the year that can make any course correction for new administration very difficult. Pakistan’s hope is that new administration keeps current level of forces and economic lifeline to Afghan government until meaningful progress is made on intra-negotiations front. Continue reading Afghan Conundrum II